This past weekend I presented a clinic in beautiful green, sunny Florida. The weather cooperated fully and we had a really fine group of people and horses in attendance.
People came from different locations in Florida for the weekend. Most horses we worked with are living on pasture or at least getting to be on pasture a large amount of the time. We worked in small pastures, which one would think would be hard because the horses have something to distract them the whole time. But the engagement with humans is something horses want to do, so we had no trouble asking them into relationship with us.
Starting with some work on our personal energy and where it usually resides in our bodies, the clinic kicked off Saturday beginning with Amber, a young pony mare who was very skittish and frightened. She was prone to having flight reflex accidents and had a very low opinion of herself. She did not want to be separated from her companion, Cocoa. The two did everything together, like fish swimming in a school, mirroring each other’s movements. We worked with the two together all morning and by afternoon they were able to graze separately and come into closer relationship with the humans. We noticed that Amber took great pleasure and pride in being able to do liberty work and was our star as far as being able to work with everyone in the clinic.
Whinney, a Curly Bashkir mare, was wonderful in offering to teach a few students the ropes as she has had some liberty training and offers a very strong connection. When she had decided that she had done enough, she came to stand in the middle of the human circle, closed her eyes and went to sleep there.
Jack, a Cracker horse (new breed for me) who had great reservations about people, made some significant strides in connection. I spent a lot of time with him until he could feel comfortable with me there. The grade mare Cherokee also was also able to come into relationship with people for short but notable periods of time.
I’m adding here what Anne Daimler, our wonderful hostess, said about the clinic, because, besides saying nice things about me, it really does describe how the flow of the clinic went. The humans were really very wonderful in their timing, pacing and feel with the horses, which I believe contributed to making it so successful:
“The Liberty Foundations clinic is over, although we have one private lesson today.
Yesterday was another awesome day learning the language of the herd. Everyone’s energy (horse and human) was more settled as what we had experienced on Saturday became part of us and how we now relate to each other. The best analogy I can think of to explain what we were doing is that our group (the humans) was approaching another group of beings (the horses) who speak an entirely different language. Susan was instructing us in the language the horses use to communicate with each other. The horses, who were expecting more of the usual stuff humans ask of them that they have to try and interpret so they can comply, were pleasantly surprised that this group of humans was actually making the effort to learn their language. A couple of the horses were so pleased about this that they made it their job to actively assist the humans in this endeavor.
My Curly Horse, Whinney, who on Saturday had showed several of the participants what the magnetic connection that connects horses and humans feels like when they walked in connection around the paddock, once again agreed to work with a few of the students. She helped Susan show us an exercise where carrot pieces were set on a hay pile and used as the goal while the horse walked in connection with human in a flower pattern around the pile of hay with the horse getting to stop and eat the carrot pieces when in the center. After a couple of loops away from the hay/carrots, the carrots began losing their attraction as the bond between horse and human became more important. Whinney told us she was done helping the humans by walking right by the carrots and over to the gate (Whinney loves carrots and was not full). Since one of our commitments to the horses was to quit when they communicated that they were done, I thanked her and let her out.
Amber, Kathy Hunter’s pony, who has baffled many a trainer over the years, turned out to be the superstar of the clinic. Her history has been one of easily learning anything that was asked of her. She would appear to be completely trained to ride and then drive by successful and kind trainers but was unpredictable in that she would explode after 45 min or an hour of work. There did not appear to be any physical reason for this (Kathy had her checked out by numerous professionals), so Amber was retired from any type of work. At the Liberty Foundations clinic, Amber immediately realized that no one was going to make her do anything, that participation was totally her choice and that she could quit at any time. She was the energizer pony of the liberty clinic, tirelessly working with each student, showing them how to walk a horse down. At the end of the clinic, her mom, Kathy, rewarded her by having Susan do an Ortho-Bionomy treatment on her, something Amber was a little unsure about at first but soaked up once she realized no one was going to force anything on her again, that all the body work was done through comfort.
Our clinician, Susan Smith, was amazing, teaching in our group’s comfort zone, allowing us to learn through experiencing the strong bond that can exist between horse and human. Each student approached the foundations in their own way, something that was fascinating to watch. Not one of the students acted awkwardly or like they didn’t think they could do it — pretty amazing since we were a very diverse group. Susan has agreed to come back, probably in the fall when there is less going on here in Florida.”
(copyright: Susan Smith, OrthoHorse)
Services: Bodywork (Ortho-Bionomy for people, Equine Ortho-Bionomy): private sessions, tutorials, phone consultations, distance healing communication and gift certificates
Liberty Coaching: clinics, mini-clinics, workshops, private and semi-private sessions, tutorials, consultations: by appointment: 505.501.2478 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org Spring Lessons – semi-private, private and small group sessions. Scheduling now. Contact me for details.
If you want to host a clinic in your area, contact me to make arrangements. Prices will vary according to location and travel. email@example.com 505-501-2478
On the schedule for 2014:
March 12 – Free gotomeeting call – Horses at Liberty Foundation Training conference call 6 p.m. MST
1. Please join my meeting, Mar 12, 2014 at 6:00 PM MST.
2. Use your microphone and speakers (VoIP) – a headset is recommended. Or, call in using your telephone.
Dial +1 (805) 309-0010
Access Code: 139-787-117
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Meeting ID: 139-787-117
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April 5-6 Spirit Horse Ranch Liberty Foundations Clinic, Jones, Oklahoma, Presented by coaches Ruella Yates and Susan Smith. Contact Ruella Yates firstname.lastname@example.org, (405-771-4274) or myself for registration and information. Space is limited. Private bodywork sessions and lessons are being scheduled now.
Check out this from Ruella Yates, my hostess and co-clinician at SHR in April – 10 Liberty Tips from Spirit Horse Ranch:
Ruella Yates, who is the marvel behind the HorseConscious Facebook page, has just released a brand new ebook called: “10 Liberty Tips From Spirit Horse Ranch” based upon her Liberty Foundations teachings.
What’s great about the book is that it’s packed full of really valuable advice yet very easy to consume and put into practice. I highly recommend you snag yourself a copy here: